New Law to Prohibit Resale of Children's Items

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We're all looking for ways to save a buck. However, come February a new law could change the way you shop bargains for your children overnight.

A new federal law which goes into effect February 10th will make the resale of some popular children's items illegal.

The new mandate is leaving both business owners and consumers scrambling for answers.

"They like things like that," Resale Shop Manager Gloria Eudey said pointing at a toy car. "I mean these all sell really well."

They're popular items that soon may be disappearing off the shelves and racks of local resale shops.

"Our understanding of the mandate from the National Consumer Product Safety Commission is that any clothes sold through thrift stores for kids will be outlawed and eliminated February 10th," Ron Crozier with Twin City Mission said.

Twin City Mission operates four resale shops in the Brazos Valley. Crozier says the new law not only affects clothes but also toys, and other items used by children under the age of 12. It will make the items illegal to sell after February 9th.

"You've got families with kids in this community who depend on thrift stores just to clothe their kids daily," Crozier said. "They can't afford to go to the malls, they can't afford to go to the retail outlets."

The Consumer Product Safety Commission pushed hard for the legislation after lead concerns in toys hit a high in 2008. The new law will soon require all children's items to have tags showing they passed new lead tests.

"I can't say there would be anything bad to happen if you bought clothes here," Bargain Shopper Lynn Waller said.

Lynn Waller who often shops at Once Upon A Child for her twin granddaughters says she relies on getting quality items at discounted costs.

She's now worried how the new mandate could affect her buying power.

"I would hate to see it close," Waller said. "I think it's good for both sides, the people that want to sell their clothes, and us that want to get a sale for our grandkids," Waller said.

Although the terms of new guidelines aren't only confusing consumers, but business owners and managers as well. Many don't know if they'll be forced to close shop, or just continue business as usual.

"It's going to affect a lot of people, that's why I think we need a clarification as soon as possible," Once Upon A Child Manager Drew Johnson said. "It's just a very broad law right now."

Some of the biggest questions many resale shops have about this new mandate is how it will affect donations, and the current items they already have in stock.

News 3 tried to contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to get answers to those questions as well how the new law will affect garage sales and even online sales, but our questions have gone unanswered.

Management with Once Upon a Child say they will meet with their corporate office next week, to try and get clarification about the new mandate, and until then plan to operate business as usual.